Julian Sands: A timeline of the British actor’s disappearance

The remains of Julian Sands were found on Saturday (Ian West/PA)
The remains of Julian Sands were found on Saturday (Ian West/PA)

The remains of British actor Julian Sands have been found more than five months after he was first reported missing while hiking in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to the PA news agency on Tuesday that human remains found in the area by civilian hikers were those of Sands.

Here is a timeline of events leading up to the discovery.

– Friday January 13

Sands is first reported missing to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Neither the report nor the actor’s name are made public immediately, but it states his disappearance was in the Baldy Bowl area.

A search-and-rescue operation is launched and the last recorded ping is detected from Sands’ phone.

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Sands was first reported missing to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department on January 13 (Ian West/PA)

– Saturday January 14

Search efforts are halted due to risk from avalanches and adverse weather on local trails results in ground crews being pulled off the mountain in the evening.

– Sunday January 15

Aerial searches, conducted by drones and helicopters, continue but nothing is found.

– Wednesday January 18

A car believed to belong to Sands is found and towed away from a location by his family.

– Thursday January 19

Weather conditions and avalanche risk continue to delay ground searches, although the sheriff’s department says there is “no hard deadline” to call off the search.

– Friday January 20

Federal and state authorities join the search for Sands using mobile phone forensics to help pinpoint the location of the actor.

One week on from his disappearance, the sheriff’s department says there is still “no time set” for when ground searches can continue.

– Monday January 23

The actor’s family releases a statement praising the “heroic” efforts of both local and out-of-county forces conducting the search efforts.

Sands’ family say they were “deeply touched” by the support they had received in the days since his disappearance.

The sheriff’s office also announces it is looking for a second missing hiker and that searches have allowed ground teams to conduct “secondary” sweeps of the area, but no evidence of the actor is found.

– Tuesday January 24

The second hiker is found alive, but there is still no sign of Sands.

– Wednesday January 25

Searches continue by air only, with authorities using special technology that can detect electronic devices and credit cards.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says it was “hopeful” that the technology will be able to more accurately pinpoint an area on which to focus efforts.

– Saturday January 28

Kevin Ryan, Sands’ hiking partner and close friend says he is “remaining hopeful” of the actor’s safe return, as searches pass the two-week mark.

Ryan tells PA it is obvious that “something has gone wrong” but that the actor’s advanced experience and skill may allow him to overcome difficulty.

– Friday February 3

The sheriff’s department said conditions continued to be problematic after three weeks of searching, adding efforts have continued “intermittently”.

A spokesperson tells PA that efforts would normally be downgraded to a “passive search” after 10 days, but that plans have been extended due to the ongoing bad weather.

– Friday February 10

Four weeks on from the first reports of Sands’ disappearance, authorities admit the outcome of the search “may not be what we would like”.

The sheriff’s department says it is still “hopeful” of finding the actor, but that conditions in the area remain dangerous, adding that ground searches are planned for the future.

– Monday February 13

Exactly one month since Sands has been reported missing, weather conditions still hamper efforts to find him.

– Friday March 3

Authorities temporarily close tourist resorts in the Mount Baldy area due to danger of avalanches.

Snow storms batter the southern Californian region causing search efforts by both ground and air to be halted yet again.

The majority of operations are suspended for the proceeding months with the sheriff’s department unable to provide any further updates.

– Monday June 19

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department reports that a further ground search in the Mount Baldy wilderness has not yielded any results.

The search, which took place on Saturday June 17, included more than 80 search-and-rescue volunteers, deputies, and staff, with efforts supported by two helicopters and drone crews.

“Despite the recent warmer weather, portions of the mountain remain inaccessible due to extreme alpine conditions,” the department said.

“Multiple areas include steep terrain and ravines, which still have 10-plus feet of ice and snow.”

– Wednesday June 21

Sands’ family releases a second statement via the sheriff’s department, saying they are continuing to keep the actor “in our hearts with bright memories”, as searches continue.

“We are deeply grateful to the search teams and co-ordinators who have worked tirelessly to find Julian,” the statement reads.

“We continue to hold Julian in our hearts with bright memories of him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, lover of the natural world and the arts, and as an original and collaborative performer.”

– Saturday June 24

Human remains are found in the Mount Baldy wilderness.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says civilian hikers had contacted authorities on Saturday morning after finding the remains in area.

The remains are transported to the Coroner’s Office for identification.

– Tuesday June 27

The sheriff’s department announces the remains found are those are of Sands.